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The Morning Brief: Valiant Adds to Pinterest Funding

Christopher Hansen’s Valiant Capital Partners is one among more than one dozen investors to participate in Pinterest’s latest, $186 million Series G financing. This is either the San Francisco hedge fund firm’s third or fourth investment in the privately-held social media Website, depending upon the source. According to Valiant’s January 2015 report, obtained by Alpha, a $17.9 million investment the firm made in Pinterest in February 2013 is now worth more than $41 million. Another $1.2 million investment in Pinterest made in May 2014 is now worth $1.8 million.

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Bank activist specialist Lawrence Seidman disclosed he owns 5.08 percent of West Bend, Wisconsin-based Westbury Bancorp. In an initial 13D filing, the Parsippany, New Jersey investor said he has had several conversations with management and plans to continue these discussions “about ways to maximize shareholder value.” Westbury has nine full-service offices. This is the investor’s third 13D filing in a little more than two months alone.

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Call this synergy, activist style. Starboard Value’s Jeffrey Smith has resigned from the board of directors of Milpitas, California-based storage system company, Quantum Corp., under an agreement stemming from July 28, 2014. Under its “replacement rights,” Starboard recommended that Robert Andersen be appointed to the board. Who is Andersen? Since January 2, 2014, he has been the chief financial officer of Tessera Technologies, a semiconductor company in which Starboard has successfully invested. Shares of Tessera surged more than 80 percent in 2014 alone. In 2013 the company agreed to appoint six of Starboard’s nominees to its board as part of a settlement. Late last year Starboard sold a big chunk of the stock, saying in a regulatory filing that it wanted to rebalance the fund’s portfolio in light of the stock’s strong performance. In March, Starboard reduced its stake in Tessera to 4.9 percent. As a result, Starboard no longer needs to file amended 13D forms when it sells additional shares, although it does need to disclose its stake in its quarterly 13F filings.

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Shares of Rosetta Resources surged 27 percent on Monday after the energy producer announced that it agreed to be acquired by Noble Energy in an all-stock deal valued at $2.1 billion, plus the assumption of $1.8 billion of net debt. At year-end Kenneth Griffin’s Citadel disclosed it owned 3.14 percent of Rosetta. In November it said it owned 6.4 percent of the stock.

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